How to get out the most common (and stubborn) stains

Ink Blot

We’ve all dropped a ballpoint pen on ourselves, and those little splots can be hard to get out once they’ve set in. Run the fabric under cold water as soon as possible. Let it soak in the cold water for 30 minutes, then wash it in the hottest possible temperature that the fabric will allow.


This is a similar process to ink stains, except it’s a bit more complicated if there was milk or cream in the coffee. After running the stain under cold water, put a little detergent right on the fabric and rub the cloth together with the cold water. Like the ink, let it soak and then wash it in hot water cycle. If that doesn’t work, you may also try using a little baking soda or vinegar. If all else fails, take it to the dry cleaner.

Bodily Fluids

Stains from blood, sweat, or vomit are protein based stains, which are best treated with an alkaline detergent. Put some right on the fabric and rub the cloth together with cold water. OxiClean is great for this. Then wash it right away in cold water. Do not use hot water, as it will set your stain! If the stain comes out, then you may want to wash them again in hot water, especially if they are sheets or towels. This process also works well for most ice cream or dairy products as well.


This process goes for most makeup, including foundation and eye shadow too. Rinse the fabric in cold water, then gently rub a detergent right onto the stain. Rinse that out with cold water and then apply a stain stick to the mark. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then launder.

Barbeque or Spaghetti Sauce

Soak the item for 30 minutes in cold water with a half teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Rinse, and if there’s still some stain remaining, apply a prewash stain remover and wash in warm water – not hot. Let it air dry. If the stain persists, then look for a detergent with enzymes, and soak it overnight in a solution with water. Then wash in warm water.


Let the mud dry, and use a coarse bristle brush to brush as much of it off the fabric as you can. Then, soak it in warm water with one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and one tablespoon of white vinegar for at about 15 minutes. Then rinse it and let it stand. If the blemish remains, rub it with rubbing alcohol, and then wash. If it’s not gone after that, try an overnight enzyme soak.

Fruit or Juice

Make sure you don’t use detergents that contain soap, or apply a bar soap directly on this kind of stain, or it will set the stain. Soak the item in warm water with a teaspoon of enzyme product. Lightly scrub the spot to get it all out before washing. If any sugars remain on the fabric, it will leave a light brown spot after a cycle in the dryer or iron.



Create a paste of baking soda and water. Rub gently onto the stain, then wash as normal.

Grass or Mustard

These are two of the most stubborn stains because they are a combination of plant dye and protein stains with other organic elements. Soak for an hour in cold water with an enzyme laundry product. Wash in cold water, and if stain remains then soak again overnight with the enzyme solution and rewash. Once stain is gone, wash in warm water.

No matter what kind of stain it is, make sure the stain is out before you put your clothing item in the dryer. The warm air will set your stain, making it almost impossible to get out after a drying cycle. If you have any questions about how to use your facility’s equipment, visit us online. You’ll find more laundry tips, payment options, and equipment instructions at